In the previous article, we talked about a very specific type of the minimum viable product (MVP) called the Wizard of Oz MVP. Interestingly, this type of MVP has another peculiar name, Flintstone MVP, which is the one that we are going to use today while explaining how this type of MVP is being used to test business hypotheses. From our point of view, this second name perfectly captures the very essence of the concept we are about to explain. The name itself refers to an American animated sitcom, The Flintstones, depicting the life of Fred Flintstone and his friends in the Stone Age. In this series, cars are large, wooden structures that burn no fuel because they are powered by people who run while inside them. This is exactly what a Flintstone MVP is—an imitation of a product for the customer by carrying out all the product functions manually.
To demonstrate how even the most difficult task can be solved with the use of a Flintstone MVP, let’s consider an example of creating a hypothetical online marketplace—a simplified version of Amazon, which an entrepreneur built to connect sellers and buyers and earn a percentage from their transactions. At first glance, it is nearly impossible to test the viability of such a business idea without sophisticated (and costly) programming. Indeed, all sellers and buyers should have their own accounts; there should be ways to post items, make orders, accept payment, and carry out many other functions. It would take thousands of man-hours of programming to make it work and months to test for and fix bugs, not to mention the time required to create user manuals and accompanying materials before advertising can be launched. Is this correct? No, not if an entrepreneur is willing to do the work manually—everything from listing items in a catalog to the processing of each customer’s order. In this case, a very simple site—one that can be created in a few days—is enough, and you can start! Sure, there will be a lot of work, but the beauty is that you will be able to start testing the viability of the business idea almost immediately, not in months! This will allow you (if your business idea is viable) to quickly enter the market, test customers’ needs, and, grab the niche before it is taken by competitors. And, of course, if the idea is not viable, you save time and money by not building a product or service that has no demand.
In conclusion, it should be said that the creation of a Flintstone MVP, despite its seeming simplicity, is not a trivial task. Although the entrepreneur is ready to take on the implementation of all business logic, imitating a full-featured product for users, an MVP developer is needed to make such an imitation possible by creating the necessary software logic and interfaces. For example, even in the example above, someone still must implement basic e-commerce functionality and an attractive design. This is what Yarandin, Inc. excels. As a professional MVP development company, we have all the necessary knowledge and experience to create Flintstone MVPs in the shortest possible time. Please contact us with any questions you may have.